Do You Need Unix Hosting?

Recommended Unix Hosting
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The Windows Unix Hosting Debate

Windows or Unix/Linux is a debate that has been waged over decades. This debate includes operating systems, Office suites, and hosting accounts. It will invariably involve supporters of both sides of the argument with little room for flexibility between the two. Unix developers love the open source and therefore flexibility that it offers, not to mention the affordability of hosting plans and development software. Microsoft lovers, on the other hand, will argue that they have much greater user-friendly features thanks to the Graphical Interface that Windows invariably offers. Both arguments are true but because of the advantages that Unix offers over Windows it is by far the most commonly used server software available.

Cross Platform Compatibility Is Not An Issue

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding Windows versus Unix hosting is whether the development of a site on one platform means it is inaccessible on the other. Fortunately, this is not the case. A site developed on a Windows platform is fully functional on a Unix operating system and vice versa. This means that whichever platform you opt for your site will be accessible by anyone whether they use Windows, Linux, or any other operating system. This is because all websites are developed in standards compliant languages like HTML.

Reliability Is An Issue

Reliability is always an issue with software. While Windows has made up some lost ground in this respect Unix still has the upper hand. In terms of web development and server software this is certainly true and in many respects it is because of the open source of the program. Windows does not allow the changing of their software and if there are any known bugs or issues it is necessary to wait for the company themselves to create and distribute a fix for the problem. In some cases this can take a lot of time. Unix, on the other hand, is completely open source. Any user is free to view, amend, and add to the source code. When errors are spotted, users will generally create a fix and then distribute this via the Internet to anyone that is interested. The result is that Unix problems tend to be remedied a lot quicker than Windows problems.

Cost Comparison Between Windows And Unix Hosting

A huge factor in the decision between Windows and Unix hosting is the cost. Windows software costs thousands and, as such, hosts find it necessary to dilute this cost by passing it on to the websites they host. The end result is you pay more. Unix, on the other hand, is open source and generally free. Because of this, hosts do not need to pass on any increased costs to their customers providing a much more affordable solution.

Windows Hosting For Windows Applications And Files

The choice of whether to use Unix or Windows hosting packages will probably come down to whether you need to use Windows based software on your site. If you have Windows media files such as WMV or WMA files that you want to stream on your website then you have to use a Windows server. Otherwise, your best option is likely to be Unix.

Unix Hosting Gives You A Greater Freedom Of Choice

For all the advantages that Unix has to offer, possibly the greatest advantage is the freedom of choice. Because Unix is more affordable for hosts there are many more hosts offering Unix hosting packages than those offering Windows. In real terms this has also opened up the market to increased competition. This, in turn, has seen reduced hosting prices as well as a plethora of added features and free offers to try and tempt webmasters to use a particular host in preference to others.

Website Requirements

Unix hosting generally provides a mass of features and very impressive packages. Disk space and bandwidth can vary greatly depending on the host in question as well as the package you opt for. Budget shared hosting packages are certainly affordable and, in most cases, they offer more than space to host reasonable sized websites. Monthly traffic is also a factor. This is determine not only by the amount of visitors a site receives but also the amount of data they download, and the amount of data their browser needs to request from your server.

Extra Features With Your Hosting Package

The features that are included also play a part in the final decision. With so many hosting packages it makes sense to opt for the one that offers the greatest appeal. Whether this appeal is in the shape of an increased amount of disk space for data heavy sites or free scripts that give added customer satisfaction is entirely up to you. Consider exactly what you will be including on the pages of your site and the features that you require most. Don’t instantly dismiss any hosts that don’t include these features because you may be able to find free scripts on the Internet that perform the very same function.

The Control Panel

The control panel is the heart of your hosting account. Generally a control panel allows you to manage your hosting account, your email accounts, the pages and files of your site, and any features that were included in your hosting package. Virtually all hosts offer a control panel and the majority offers very good ones including cPanel and Plesk. Both offer free demos from their main sites so try them out to find out which you prefer. Also remember that the latest versions of control panels generally offer more, so look at the version that is being offered by your host before you make your decision.

Unix Hosting Conclusion

Unix hosting is the most popular option for website hosting because it is affordable and feature rich. As a result of its popularity it has also become the most common form of hosting available giving rise to even further price competitiveness and added hosting features. However, if you need to run Windows software on your website including streaming Windows audio or video files then you will have to use a Windows server package. Otherwise shop around for the Unix hosting package that offers the most memory, the greatest features, and the best price.